Thursday, August 27, 2009

speaking in silence...

They gathered around the atrium and hoped upon hope that their prayers would be heard and answers given through raindrops. Every drop which dripped onto the floor of the villa spoke of hope. Hope that the divine would speak into the deafening silence of life. Stiff as the marble statues in the garden before them, they waited for the oracle to speak through splashes or see answers pictured in puddles. For the ancient Romans, their gods would speak through rain and thunder when the answers to life were lost.

I remembered this art history fact while visiting the Getty Villa in Malibu. I touched the marble columns and stared at marble statues which once adorned Romans villas. I stared at the blue, cloud-less California sky and prayed for rain. And wind. And fire. And something miraculous. I didn't want to hear from Zeus on power or Athena on love, but from God Almighty. I was tired of asking the same questions because the deafening silence was too painful to listen to. The questions echoed internally and ricocheted off the walls of my mind. I wanted answers, but I received silence.

God are you there? Are you even listening to me?

“A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire, there was a voice, a soft whisper. When Elijah heard [it], he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave”(1 Kings 19:11-13).

God put on a real show with the wind blowing, the earth shaking, and fire darting, but he wasn’t speaking to Elijah in any of those powerful and visible ways. Elijah was learning that God, who once spoke by fire that consumed a soaked altar sacrifice, does not always reveal himself in powerful, miraculous ways. What does this say to us? Some people think that the only place to find God is in something big, the impressive, or the miraculous. We look for God in the spectacular but miss him in the silence. I'm currently in silence, but I know that it's the still, small voice that will answer me when I finally shut my mouth and listen.


Jenn said...

Why am I crying?! I'm just feel like I'm deaf or something. I can't hear God and I so badly need him to answer me.

I needed this today...

Anonymous said...



Jasmine said...

just in case you ever forget, I LOVE YOU.

Melinda said...

Bianca, without sounding like a saleman, you NEED to hear a song off of the new Shachah album - Lord Speak. I can't say it will give you any answers, but I think it's right along these lines, incoporates the same scriptures, etc. A good prayer song. xoxo

Anonymous said...

We love to go to the beach and sit in front of the waves and hear and see what God has done and just ponder on God. And then u know me, I start getting scared thinking there is going to be a psunami but then I get my focus back on God!! :)

Shyla said...

ooooh, I have a song for you too!

Andrew Peterson's 'Silence of God'.
something about the way this artist is with words that puts me in tears every time.

Here are a few lines.
"... when you're bleating for comfort, from thy staff and thy rod... and the heaven's only answer is the silence of God. when the questions dissolve into the silence of God, the aching may remain but the breaking does not... in the holy lonesome echo of the silence of God"

Better yet... just listen here: [Kinda cheesy video but its all I could find]

Annie said...

You know what I notice? Sometimes, when I think He's got his remote with the mute button pressed and pointed at me, He's actually speaking to me.
And yes, it is a very small voice.
And yes, it's typically telling me the things I already know.
The very answers to the questions in my heart ... stuff I just don't want to admit are probably from Him.
The stuff that really ticks me off and the stuff that really pulls at my heart.
He's already speaking. I just have to listen and know that it's Him.
But that's just me... maybe?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and true! What's especially hard is quieting my thoughts... I am sooo easily distracted... especially when I WANT to listen and hear Him...

Diandra Ann said...


enough said.

Quirky Christa said...

When I was 27 I felt like I was having a midlife crisis...don't ask! But anyway...after that time I made it a point for the next 6 months to a year to be "quiet" To just listen and figure out what I truly wanted for my life.
God did not disappoint....I know what life I'm supposed to be leading now. It hasn't been an easy road but I'm happier than ever.

"Be Still and KNOW that I am God"

Anonymous said...

God is Good and this post , i read it as slow as i could to hear the voice of God in between the line, God Bless you Bianca

Bianca said...

Shyla and Melinda, I'm totally going to check out those songs! Shy, it's SO good to know you're alive and kickin'! I didn't know you checked in on the blog... I'm honored :)
Christa, you TOTALLY had a quarter-life crisis! I know... so did I. That was one of my first breakings, but I clung to Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know..."
Annie, so true!!!
Jenn, hang in there. Sometimes the best learnings come when we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. We must actually just sit and embrace the darkness. Lean into Him...


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